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The Charismatic Role of Imam Khomeini

By Mohamadreza Pordeli and Doostali Sanchooli


Iran's Islamic revolution was a large emerging phenomenon in the modern era undoubtedly which was led by the charismatic leadership and charisma and great development in the field of international relations and political equations created the world' governments that the effects of it can be seen even now in the region and the world. The historic leader was at a time of crisis and affected the political and economic problems. Islam made the cultural gap between the people and the policy of Shah's rule. Cultural contradictions were evident in society. Corruption, repression, vans and undermining the political legitimacy of the regime, injustice and social inequality, subservience to America and the influence of external forces against the king and his government's popularity had slipped. In this context, Imam Khomeini came to the scene of the struggle against shah and unswerving and stand great courage against Shah and his government. They remained steadfast in rejecting compromise with Shah or the Pahlavi dynasty; in any case, this time from senior politicians distinguished the clergymen Imam considered Islam and Islamic government as a solution to the problems facing the community. He urged the overthrow of the Pahlavi regime and the Islamic revolution and the essential prerequisite for the realization of the vision of the divine and Islamic values, freedom and independence. How Imam Khomeini won the support of the broad masses and the supremacy found the charismatic are issues that will be addressed.

The legitimacy of the political system from the perspective of Max Weber: Legitimacy in political sociology considered as a right and valid rule of governance system. And durable survival levels of political authority depends on its legitimacy, therefore, it is the most important and most basic form the basis of any political authority and legitimacy. Even governments are trying usurper has its way with the support of legitimate domination, however, it justifies false. And trying to undermine the legitimacy of faith among citizens and motivate their subordinates. The mere obedience make to the belief in the truth that they represent. The often political and religious sociologists are trying a variety of legal systems in different countries check and introduce. Among these researchers and theorists, it can mention to theorist Max Weber's political legitimacy. He categorized the pure sovereignty in to three types of rational, traditional and charismatic including the first rational rule that is based on the belief in the legality of the regulations and the rules of their right to rule those who called for sovereignty. The second, the traditional rule was based on the common belief in the sanctity of the traditions that have made an old credibility. And the legitimacy of those who guard their traditions that allowed to exercise their sovereignty. And the third type of charisma which is based on the submission of an unusual and exceptional because of the sanctity, heroism or exemplary character as well as the subordination of the military or the revelation that has been sent down to him and devotion to him and was devotion to him and his system. Of the three types of legitimate domination, domination and rational nature of the legal basis on which to form a rational opinion ion on the legality of the regulations passed and the legitimacy of leaders who have been determined in accordance with the law. The traditional dominance of belief in the sanctity of tradition available and the legitimacy of leaders who come to power under the current customs and charismatic domination is based on the belief that the sanctity of one's personal values or experiences unyielding courage. Raymond Aron exampled three legitimate sovereignties and Weber declared we obey the agent of legality of the tax because we could believe its legitimacy and know that he can send us tax collection after his domination of rational domination. The example of the traditional dominance in today's society is not easy but if the queen of England still holds effective power we have to say the foundation of such authority should be long past and search a belief in the legitimacy of the authority that its origin goes back to centuries ago. In modem societies, there is nothing but a demonstration of this type of domination. Instead, several cases of charismatic or charismatic domination can be seen. He dominated in the course of his life was charismatic domination because his power was not based on law and not based on tradition but on loyalty to his people. Those people who believed extraordinary virtues of man who wanted to subvert the social order. In fact, domination of charismatic is a relationship of authority by which ordinary people distinguished leader and features the extraordinary superhuman or at least exceptional and followers, accept him and his sovereignty among their charisma and charismatic leader is the interface of affective and emotional tension of this kind of devotion. Max Weber described three forms of traditional and charismatic and rational agreement embodied and trying to show in. the political structure of the various laws.

The concept of charisma and charismatic lordship: Max Weber considered charismatic lordship as one of the three legitimacies and declared about the concept of charisma: charisma used to the character of a person's character that's supposed to be separate features ordinary people and as someone who has the ability or the characteristics of supernatural, superhuman or at least exceptional. These features are not available for ordinary people but are of divine and unique origin and based on which the person considered as the leader. In primitive times, this was the special tribute of Prophets, philosophers, lawyers, leaders of the hunt, and war heroes. Often, charisma is remembered as it relies on magical forces. This is the end of moral and aesthetic views or the views of other judgments in. the definition of charisma which is totally ineffective. It is important that people from those who are at risk of charismatic rule, the followers and disciples how to be evaluated. Charisma is someone who is supposed to have physically and mentally extraordinary talent. And at a time when society is in crisis, he appears and willrespond to the people. Since, the charismatic leader always appears in the emergency situations and is linked with collective action by the masses to react to a fantastic experience and surrendered him to leaders and champions. The charismatic leader is always a radical who challenges the deep-rooted traditions of the past and the long-standing. g. His domination are over the people for attributes that are not accessible to others and is incompatible with the rules of the everyday, people apply themselves to give such leadership because they have find faith in his abilities. And their unique attributes and features draw people to him and even the rapture. They are rooted in long-standing rules of his wholly turn away and make an order that has already been unprecedented. Charismatic leadership in pure form imposes obligations on his followers which are not matched in other types of domination (Bendix, 2003). Max Weber believed that charisma is divided into two types: the first type is based on individual values and particular characteristics which is called pure charisma. The second type is derived from effort of military religious person in a particular situation and has less charismatic feature than the pure charisma. Julian Freund believed that the dominated charisma is exceptional. And Max Weber pointed out from the beginning of this debate that it was the issue of the "ideal types" and finding them in pure state in. reality, if was not impossible, would be in very exceptional cases because not the charismatic domination generally devoid of legality and not the traditional domination or charismatic general lack of legal aspects (Julian, 1983). Charismatic behavior is not only for the political activity because it can be used in. other fields such as religion, art, ethics and the economy, however, according to Weber, a charismatic character is of its foreign enemy or at least toward normal economic activity. Charismatic domination in politics appearing in different figures: the face of demagogues, dictators, social, military or revolutionary hero (Julian, 1983). Charismatic leader is someone who wants his followers to obey him for the mission they feel they are calling. His claim would be valid if the person who will lead the mission to recognize him and remain leader until his credibility and integrity in. his mission to prove his followers (Bendix, 2003). To achieve this purpose, charisma message should be understandable to the audience and the language they speak and speak of values should not be strange and unfamiliar to listeners. What seems important is how individual of charisma evaluated in. charismatic rule by those who are subject to the nationals and members of the evaluation, because without a doubt the acceptance by the members is crucial to the credibility of charisma. It is free admission with one or a set of symptoms and associated features. For Weber a charismatic leader can be successful only when the rule is that the message about social support groups. These groups compromise the message charisma with their own interests group and thus gradually institutionalizing the charisma. If there is no sign of charismatic leadership or is not interest in followers, the charisma will lose sovereignty. Weber believed that the department of political affairs is irrational charismatic and traditional authority. There is no hierarchy in the political system. Nothing is as certain. areas of authority and there are no formal takeovers of power on the basis of social benefits. Impromptu judgment are in. vented from case to case, their origin can be attributed to his personal judgment. Essentially, each leader will follow the principle of charisma: "you have heard it said but I say to you". Charismatic leadership cuts the continuity of political life, whether it is legal or traditional and breaks down institutions. The existing order and social pressures are commonly reprimanded and calls a new way of understanding the relationship between human beings. Charismatic domination deals with the demolished and rebuilt. Their limits and norms are under the personal authority and apostolic leader determined he is responsible, stop talking about this type of problem the rule of law because it neither is not acceptable in situations nor rules the current draw and not accepts draw the former. He confirmed the exceptional nature of the ban on him. He himself is the norm, rather than the right and obligation to take the word of the leader and his obedience. Charismatic domination is not required to servants and not to employees but he only needs devoted fans and followers (Julien, 1983). The relationship between charisma and follower's disciple and lack of norms codified in. the political, social and cultural charisma to the character gives unstable and short-lived. Since, the origin of this type of dominance on something outside of everyday life, then this type of domination is fragile. Humans are not able to live a long time e out of everyday life. And also because the whole thing out of the ordinary affairs will inevitably suffer from obsolescence as a result, a constant flow appliance which is necessary for the return to normal life is a charismatic power.

Evaluating the role of charismatic leadership of Imam Khomeini (RA): Imam Khomeini was a charismatic character about there is almost no doubt. As mentioned earlier, Max Weber mentioned a set of features for a charismatic leader that most of these symptoms can be seen in the leadership of Imam Khomeini. Features that Weber charisma for leadership articulated as part of which is devoted to the nature of this kind of leadership and part of it goes to other functions. The first is the nature of this

special charisma to the character of a person's character because of this feature, supposed to be apart from ordinary people and as someone who has supernatural abilities properties, a superhuman or at least exceptional, to work. These are features that are not available to ordinary people but of divine origin or deemed to be unique. One of the features of Imam Khomeini and risk their courage in the fight against a powerful regime of Pahlavi. These characteristics strengthen the confidence of followers than they were because they were seeing the leader for their personal interests does not send them to the altar. Imam Khomeini from the very beginning of the struggle was against the Shah and proved his courage and strength to his followers. In response to a telegram to scholars in Tehran on the occasion of Feyziyeh School massacre by the regime, e, determination and courage and strength of character that spoke of his charisma, revealed: "I now have in. my heart for the bayonets of the officers but to accept in. justices and humility in. front of you, we will not. God willing, I will express God's commandments in every appropriate opportunity to pen in. my hand against the country's interests to expose my work". Imam Khomeini repeatedly stood up against the Pahlavi regime in no way did not fear her and stopped his ideals. Imam in a speech at the cemetery which is the first day of his return from exile in Iran spoke about the determination and courage and honesty when dealing with the government and all that I am, I hit the mouth of the state government and I think I support the government of this nation. Crowd lost control of him and was furious with the Takbir and clap their feelings. And how people react to his words because of the extraordinary and exceptional features as charisma he had trusted and looked to them. Rafipour noted about the charismatic personality of Imam Khomeini: Imam had personality of the highest spiritual, charismatic, powerful, power politics with the courage and selfless. He always tailored to the needs and values statements inviting his followers and spark and mobilizing, yet bold and aggressive speaking and the personality dimensions in. figure handsome Pleasant personality and leadership to build popular revolutions and revolutionary movements in. the world like it's hard to find like him (Rafipour, 1997). Self-esteem and confidence of Imam and his piety and life, for him was built by followers of the holy man and mystic disciples ready to sacrifice for the objectives of the charismatic movement in the event of failure and Khomeini's movement was not disappointed, he was a man of God and duty and victory and defeat, none of them in. itself has no meaning. In any case, he always saw himself victorious, because that has the duty and obligation to act and exalted before God. In 11 of December 1962 speech to the seminaries and said Clergymen defeat for the one who desires and is ideal world and mundane reserves engulfed his heart, for those who are trusted to defeat Satan and not related to the other universe but whose relationship with God. One was related to the paranormal, not failure. Monotheist, a Muslim and people connected to Allah will not fail. Devotees and followers of Imam knew him related to God and believed that he and his supporters will feel God's help and grace of God. Weber considered one of the charisma sign disregard for the economy and secularism which was known tangible for Imam Khomeini. Mohamadi said about his charismatic personality: he was a person who could help his extraordinary appeal within minutes, to draw protests of millions Iranians in the streets. However, when his life and residence was seen, there was simple. He sat on the floor behind a small table his writing that the equipment room, he was also the small table. His political and social affairs has great power and influence thought was a thorough and comprehensive (Mohamadi, 1991). Max Weber considered one of the signs of the revolutionary leadership of its charismatic and believed that he destroyed the past and the future reconstruction. Khomeini did not follower of reformation. Abrahamian said he will not seek re-establishment of constitutional monarchy but calls for a new type of Islamic government. Although at that time were still avoid using the term Republic, it was clear that the political revolution is not reform but seeks it (Abrahamian, 1999). This feature highlighted his charisma in. the eyes of the followers of Imam and distinguished them from other ingredients regime. e. Because of the exceptional features and obeyed his extraordinary trust them because he think that what the leader does, the best thing for people is realized. John Stempel said Khomeini's steadfast rejection of compromise with the Pahlavi dynasty or stays in. any situation, distinguished him from all politicians and senior Clergymen. He maintained this position to escape victorious of Shah, known as the leader of the revolution. One of the factors that led to the charisma of Khomeini in the Islamic revolution helped them from religious and charismatic leader turned was matching the characteristics of his personality and his followers with charismatic leadership models and myths in. culture Iran's Shiite political-religious society. The concept of imam was one of the main models. Imam in Shah revolutionary culture of the placewas very high becauseof the Shiite Imams for the cause of God and man in. his lifetime with tyrants and oppressors were fighting. g. Deprived and oppressed people to imams, especially Imam Mandi viewed as a savior. Sadat's family and descendants of Imam Khomeini and he and his people had a lot of respect. So that due to exceptional capabilities and features as deputy of the

“Imam” which was given to him by his supporters was considered a sign of charisma. Abrahamian said: Imam Khomeini called on behalf of the followers and devotees while this title was for Iranians Shiite which was used in the past only for twelve Imams. Fans and his followers considered him not a normal Ayatollah but a charismatic imam that the nation will lead the traditional monotheistic classless society through the revolution (Abrahamian, 1999). Of course, the path of Imam Khomeini was both to meet the spiritual and intellectual needs of the Iranian people which were required familiarity with Islam and religious leaders. He was a religious leader and Islamic. If people do not feel that the voice of the prophet and of Imam Ali (AS) or call of Imam Hussein (AS) that comes out of people's mouth was mi. possible for the revolutionary movement in. this area in. our country (Motahari, 2002). Religious ideology in the Iranian society has long promised convergence and was mixed of history and culture. Dr. Aghajari doctor noted about messianism "the messianism has a certain kind of authority and leadership". As the typology "Weber authority" called it charismatic authority or charisma (Aghajari, 2001). The people of Iran considered the Hidden Imam as Savior and Messiah at the end of a world full of justice and its appearance and someone who eliminate tyranny. They knew that Imam Khomeini deputy would be the savior of society is in a critical condition. A social crisis situation which was accepted charisma. The severity of the crisis facing society is the km. d of leadership that can be the best way to solve social and set community problems. Charismatic leaders play an important role in the turmoil and crisis that people need sudden change in the political and social system and feel. They hope in. the people's spirit alive and people respond to them with charismatic tendencies. Iran had been suffering from a severe crisis before the revolution of 1978. Shah's plans for socio-economic development for the public had not good achievement. Urbanization and migration of rural to urban has created many social problems that the regime was incapable of solving the problem. Parsons, the British ambassador in his memoirs wrote for a long time e had passed since the beginning of my mission that I found in Shah's policies towards progress and prosperity for the Iranian people was brought material comfort and happiness was yielded. Iranian capital, Tehran in 1974,  was the most hideous manifestations of progress with the new civilization (Parsons, 1993). Some believed that in addition to social, economic and political problems, the work of cultural contradictions of Iranian society was also evident problem. Iran Shah saw on the verge of a great civilization and for the cultural and intellectual, Homayoun indicated his lack of substance. Cultural device of Mohammad Reza policy was not specified and had nothing to say, someone who would not say the word out. In addition to the good opinion Naraqi ruling culture and the culture was separated people (the Iranian revolution, according to the BBC, 173). Islam policy against Shah created this cultural gap, oppression and dependence on foreign regimes and the spread of corruption, administrative and moral crisis in society had added. Imam Khomeini in 1977 in a letter which was addressed to Students of Islamic Associations in Europe, wrote, addressing the Shah said: "all our disasters in. your state religion and Islam has no role". This is the source of all evils, stripping independence for the colonies in. the country and the widespread repression in. the country, prisons accumulation of free people, lack of basic equipment to plunder the vessels of the country, seizing the Israeli market... all of it is not the role of religion in the sight of Shah and his government. Dependence on America and devotion to the capitulation bill rather than no doubts left to the nation. Marvin (1991) noted, Americans with the help of Shah, also benefited greatly from his government. As Henry Kissinger has repeatedly stated, he was the one of the rarest America's allies was considered a personal friend and a political friend. United States received the reward of this friendship, whether in the form of guaranteed supply of oil or the stability of the Persian Gulf tried to help America's foreign policy and Iran's navy was provided (Marvin, 1991). Imam Khomeini offered a solution for overcoming the social crisis and said that the reason of abundance of Islam is the social affairs crisis. And a solution to restore Islam to its original position in society is real. Islam which aimed to create an Islamic justice, individual and social justice, prevent oppression, establishing the rule of law and the implementation of the rules on criteria installment. In this regard, examples of social and economic justice can count on them the right to rule in favor of the poor and the global rule of Imam Mandi (Dehshiri, 2001). Due to the severity of the social crisis that people need to feel that the leadership has extra features such as risk-taking, courage and piety, people, uncompromising, g, anti-despotism and colonialism and were also the fullest extent. Imam Khomeini in. the years before the crisis of the Iranian people with such symptoms was exceptional and extraordinary. And in the eyes of his followers was seen as a charismatic personality. So that the people of Iran saw Imam Khomeini photos in. 1977 May in the moon. Dr. Aghajari said do not work in. the sociology of whether or not the picture of Imam Khomeini was really in. the moon. But it worked and affected the history of the revolution. If people look at a person as charisma, a certain relationship is established with him and this is

revolutionary and will change the customs. Imam Khomeini had charisma in. the eyes of the people and the power of belief and faith meeting in the village of Imam Khomeini (Aghajari, 2001). After the Islamic revolution, Imam Khomeini's charisma rule was continued among the people of Iran and established a system which was based on Imam Khomemi's charismatic authority. However, with the adoption of the constitution, authority, charismatic and traditional authority in integrating the supreme leader, the leader at the time the policy was in. Iran. His major conflicts between different groups and trends within the arbitration system and the position he was appointed. Supreme leader was issues of war and peace was the ultimate decision maker and founder of the country's most important political institutions. This means over traditional authority and charismatic authority which was legal. Everywhere cited the words of the leader of the government delegation leader and followers which were mostly students (Bashiriyeh, 2002).


Undoubtedly, according to symptoms and traits that Max Weber has mentioned for supremacy charisma, Imam Khomeini in. Iran's political scene was appeared as a charismatic character. His charismatic authority was based on his personal charm. Imam was as a mystic sect and had no effect on her earthly manifestations of piety and gravity and was the true holy man. In addition to the characters look fantastic and exceptional followers and disciples, because the descendants of the prophet and Imam and as deputy of Imam Mandi (AS) of dignity and status in. the eyes of the Iranian people were great. People saw them as saviors and national heroes. But what made this sacred character in. the minds of his followers more popular and more fantastic was the element of struggle and their opposition to the dictatorial regime. Islam policy against Shah, repression and oppression of the regime, foreign dependence and the prevalence of corruption, administrative and ethical and so on led critical situation for Iran. People need to feel they have a charismatic leader. It features a charismatic leader who could save them from the crisis and its intention to their goals. Imam Khomeini, in such circumstances, respond to people's demand and expect. He offered a solution to the current crisis and had great popularity among people. These reasons led them fought hard to support and willing to sacrifice for the sake of his goals. It should be noted that three types of legitimate rule, the traditional, legal and charismatic Max Weber explained that the world beyond the min. d with precise criteria cannot be found; sometimes the three types of sovereignty are intertwined in a person.

In Imam, it can be seen signs of the three types of sovereignty. He was the supreme leader and deputy of Imam Mandi (AS) and was Marja' of the traditional supremacy in his followers. And after the adoption of the constitution and the legal institutions of intellectual supremacy and were legal. And because of the wonderful personality and charisma were the people of sovereignty. Before the establishment of the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic his charisma was more pure. However, until the demise of Imam Khomeini's charisma sovereignty over their traditional was supremacy of the law. Now he speaks for millions of people in the funeral of his charisma lead the Iranian people's sovereignty.


In this study, the analytical method was library, to the supremacy of the charismatic Imam Khomeini in the Islamic revolution leader, according to the theory of "Max Weber" will be evaluated and factors that people of Iran considered Imam Khomeini as the charismatic personality would be analyzed and evaluated.


Abrahamian, E., 1999. Iran Between Two Revolutions. 2nd Edn., Tehran Publishing Center, Tehran, Iran, Pages: 174.


Aghajari, H., 2001. Action and State Religion in Safavi Iran. Tehran Publishing Center, Tehran, Iran, Pages: 94.

Bashiriyeh, H., 2002. The History of Political Sociology Iran During the Islamic Republic. Tehran Publishing Center, Tehran, Iran, Pages: 121.

Bendix, R., 2003. Intellectual Face of Max Weber. Hermes Publication, Tehran, Iran, Pages: 88.

Dehshiri, M., 2001. Introduction to Political Theory Imam Khomeini. Islamic Revolution Documents Center, Tehran, Iran, Pages: 112.

Julian, F., 1983.  Sociology of Max Weber. Publishing 

Righteous of Shamiran, Tehran, Iran, Pages: 84.

Marvin, Z., 1991.  Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. 2nd Edn., Tehran Publishing Center, Tehran, Iran, Pages: 92.

Mohamadi, M., 1991.  Analysis of the Islamic Revolution of Iran. Amir Kabir Publications, Tehran, Iran, Pages: 61.

Motahari, M., 2002. About the Islamic Revolution. Sadra Publication, USA., Pages: 55.

Parsons, W.S., 1993.  Memories of the Two Ambassadors. Science Press, Tehran, Iran, Pages: 171.

Rafipour, F., 1997. Development and Conflict: An Attempt to Analyze the Islamic Revolution and Social Issues. Shahid Beheshti University Press, Tehran, Iran.

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